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Poster: WillCo Date: Oct 17, 2011 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

I remember similar discussions when "HiFi" playback (of FM radio and LPs particularly) became more affordable in the early '70s.

I read somewhere why it was so important to be able to play sound frequencies that the human ear was incabable of hearing; I can't remember the science except that mention of harmonics was the clincher: something about how the acoustics of a room and within an instrument react to vibrations - even those you cannot hear - by producing harmonics which shape the sounds that you can then hear.

I believe that stuff, even if I don't understand it, and agree with others about the muddiness of low bitrate mp3s. The higher bitrate ones sound fine to me, as good as lossless.

For me one of the more important factors is always how music was recorded in the first place. In a neighbouring thread there was a link to the jerryradio site where the PERRO sessions with Crosby, Garcia etc. were being made available. They were brilliantly recorded, and sound fantastic - even though the bitrate of the files is very low. At the other extreme, listen to some of the poorly recorded (in terms of recording conditions - acoustics, crowd noise etc.) audience recordings that are posted on the archive in lovingly-transferred 24bit flac. They can sound pretty bad, no matter what resources are available.

You said you couldn't figure out how to transfer flacs to CD. The Nero express software that came free with my PC does that for me very easily, totally transparently. It can't handle shorten SHN files, but I use Winamp to "write" shn files to the hard disk in wav format, and then burn the wav files to CD. A bit longwinded maybe, but it is very quick, and always works.